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Hana-kaido – flowering crabapple tree are beautiful trees when in bloom often seen in English gardens, and popular as bonsai plants in Japan.

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It is going into a tight corner of the garden, and will hopefully stay small and function like a bonsai tree in it.

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See Linda Inoki’s article below for more info.

Kaido (crab apple)

Linda Inoki

Rouge needlessly dissolved,

Cast out by the tree of pink blossoms.

How tired, these eyes, Watching evening rain. 

By Akiko Yosano (1878-1942), translated by Sanford Goldstein and Seishi Shinoda in “Tangled Hair” (Tuttle)

In the above poem, the “tree of pink flowers” is the kaido, or hana-kaido, a crab apple tree that bears clouds of delicate blossoms in spring. Traditionally, a beautiful woman who is pining for love is compared to kaido blossoms in spring rain, and the poetess here, who is waiting in vain for her lover, feels that she is fading in comparison to the fresh, natural beauty of the flowering tree. Although the flowers are fragile, the overall visual effect is striking, since the buds are deep pink, the interior of the flowers is pale pink or white, and the new leaves are a rich apple-green edged with red. Looking a little closer, you will also find that the long, slender stalks are wine-red in color, and even the pistil (in the midst of the stamens) is pale red. Originally this crab apple (Malus halliana) came from China. In the wild, it can grow up to 8 meters high, but it is often cultivated as a smaller tree for the garden, and is even trained to make a pretty bonsai. In autumn, it bears tiny apples that are also very attractive.

The Japan Times: April 17, 2003

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